A new unit which will help tackle problems such as child abuse and domestic abuse has been set up in North Down and Ards.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has launched a Public Protection Unit (PPU) in ‘C' District, which takes in Ards, Castlereagh, Down and North Down.
It has been set up to tackle child abuse and domestic abuse; to respond to vulnerable and missing people and to manage violent and sexual offenders in the community. PPUs are being established in each of the PSNI's eight districts.
‘C' District Commander, Chief Superintendent Graham Shields, said: "The Public Protection Unit marks a significant boost to services to local communities by providing protection to the most vulnerable people in society.
“It will, for the first time, draw together a team of specially trained police officers, managed at local level to detect, investigate and prevent crimes.
“There is clear evidence that there are links between domestic abuse and child abuse. The PPU will allow for early intervention and seek to identify links between cases, victims and offenders.
"Public protection, in its entirety, quite rightly, now sits under my control as District Commander. In ‘C' District it is being led will be led by Detective Inspector Richard Graham supported by a team of 18 officers. These will include specialist child protection detectives who have transferred to Districts from the PSNI's Crime Operations Department.
“It exists to protect broader communities. By working closely with local people, police in ‘C' District PPU will seek to make local communities safer and feel safer.”
Anyone wishing to make contact with the PPU can contact the unit's helpline on 9056 1792.